OPINION

Closing one’s eyes

While French President Jacques Chirac was expressing his skepticism about the consequences of the US’s pro-war policy (and acknowledging that the war in Iraq has not made the world a safer place), the news broke of Russian President Vladimir Putin’s decision to procure new-generation nuclear defense systems for his country. The USA immediately issued a positive statement about the move. But Europe kept quiet, avoiding any immediate reaction to the latest instance of recourse to nuclear arms and shying away from criticizing a decision that aims at demolishing the established taboo of the tactical use of nuclear weapons. Defending rights and values is not an armchair sport. But Europe remains a mere spectator when it comes to critical issues. Top figures in European politics keep quiet at such moments. Putin goes ahead with procuring new-generation nuclear weapons and no one complains. Why? Evidently because Putin belongs to the «troika» of French, German and Russian leaders of the so-called «moderate anti-war alliance» and so is guaranteed support… But can preventative wars and the arrogant display of awesome new nuclear weapons constitute any effective strategy for world security? Europe knows the answer is «no.» But instead of combating the causes of violence and worldwide insecurity, it closes its eyes to the problems that feed terrorism…